North East Victoria is spectacular. The Great Dividing Range and some of Australia’s highest mountains dominate it, with Mount Bogong, Victoria’s tallest peak, rising to 1986 metres above the town of Mount Beauty at the head of the Kiewa River valley.
North East Victoria’s Murray, Mitta, Kiewa, Ovens, King, Broken and Goulburn rivers are fed by winter snow-melt. Over millennia these have created lush alpine valleys, home to farming landscapes yielding a diverse variety of food, including milk, beef, grain and horticultural crops, wine grapes, apples, berries, chestnuts, walnuts, hazelnuts and olives. Smaller farms grow kiwi fruit, hops, produce honey, eggs, specialty mushrooms, vegetables, premium green tea exported to Japan, and artisan crops such as oil pumpkin seeds, truffles, saffron and capers. New crops like quinoa, amaranth and teff are being explored locally with significant potential. This cool-climate piece of Victoria is renowned for the quality of its wines across three geographic indications, of which Beechworth is the smallest. Fine beer, bread and cheese are also produced here.
North East Victoria has major food processing and distribution centres that provide jobs for many. Tourism North East sees food, wine and beer tourism as a key strength and food tourism is a well-established segment of the regional tourism sector’s strategy. Regional Development Victoria identifies a strategic imperative for a strong agri-tourism sector.